to Study Attorney Grievance Process
HARTFORD -- In an effort to further enhance the
attorney disciplinary process, the Judicial Branch announced today the formation of the
Commission to Study the Attorney Grievance Process. The Commission is charged with
conducting a comprehensive review of the attorney disciplinary system in Connecticut and
making recommendations to address how the current system can be improved.
Currently, the judges of the Connecticut Superior Court delegate much of the
attorney disciplinary review process to the Statewide Grievance Committee and to the
Judicial District Grievance Panels. These groups are comprised of dedicated volunteers --
attorneys and non-attorneys alike -- and are assisted by Judicial Branch staff.
"The regulation of attorneys admitted to practice law in the state of
Connecticut is one of the many important functions of the judiciary," Chief Justice
Francis M. McDonald, Jr. said. "A major part of that responsibility is the attorney
disciplinary process by which claims of attorney misconduct are investigated and resolved.
Our current system of disciplining attorneys is continuously examined, as evidenced by the
improvements adopted over the years by Superior Court judges through the rule making
process. However, a comprehensive review of the disciplinary system should be undertaken
The last time that such a review was conducted was nearly ten years ago
in March of 1990 -- when Chief Justice Ellen A. Peters appointed the Judicial Council on
Legal Ethics which was chaired by Attorney A. Searle Pinney. The Judicial Council on Legal
Ethics was charged with building upon the recommendations of the previously established
Commission on Legal Ethics that was chaired by the late Justice T. Clark Hull. The
Commission on Legal Ethics released its comprehensive study of the rules and guidelines
for the ethical practice of law in Connecticut and its proposals to strengthen the
integrity of the Connecticut bar in December of 1989.
Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Robert I. Berdon will be chairing the
Commission to Study the Attorney Grievance Process. Joining Justice Berdon on the
Commission will be judges, attorneys, and members of the public, including: the Honorable
Richard E. Arnold, the Honorable Juliett L. Crawford, the Honorable Joseph P. Flynn, the
Honorable William J. Lavery, the Honorable Sheridan L. Moore, the Honorable Lynda B.
Munro, the Honorable Christine S. Vertefeuille, Representative Robert Farr, Representative
Michael P. Lawlor, Senator Thomas F. Upson, Attorney Paul V. Carty, Attorney Milagros
Cruz, Attorney Thomas Flaherty, Attorney Roger J. Frechette, Attorney William F.
Gallagher, Attorney Richard Newman, Attorney A. Searle Pinney, Mr. Carmen Donnarumma and
Mr. Frank Morgan.